US food group Pinnacle Foods Finance has posted mixed third-quarter results, with EBIT and sales up but refinancing hitting its bottom line.

Pinncale posted a $12.2m net loss in its third quarter to 26 September largely due to a US$20.9m charge related to refinancing debts. The result compared to a $10.4m profit in the third quarter of last year.

EBIT was $54.2m, or 10% of net sales compared to $46.6m or 11.8% of net sales in the third quarter of 2009. 

Excluding the impact of the write up of Birds Eye Foods' inventories at the date of the acquisition to fair value, employee severance benefits, lease termination charges and integration costs, EBIT would have been $66.6m, or 12.3% of net sales, Pinnacle said.

The Duncan Hines manufacturer said the growth in the EBIT margin was driven by lower commodity costs, improved product mix and its productivity initiatives taking hold, combined with synergies realised from the Birds Eye Foods acquisition in late 2009.

"Our integration of the Birds Eye Foods acquisition has been seamless, we successfully refinanced a portion of our debt, and our brands are gaining share in a difficult trading environment," Pinnacle CEO Robert Gamgort said yesterday (10 November).

Net sales, meanwhile, rose 37.4% to $541.7m during the quarter due to its acquisition of Birds Eye Foods.